Climate, Society and Economics

Within the specialisation Climate, Society and Economics you can choose among several courses and two different thesis tracks.

More about the specialisation

Climate change presents the world with new challenges. As a result, there is a worldwide recognition of the urgent need to not only design technical solutions but also to develop socio-political and economic measures to tackle this complex problem. Nowadays, we need to invent how to cope with the impacts of global warming, loss of biodiversity, plastic soup and air pollution. All challenges that have proven to give rise to worldwide consequences that are difficult to control. This requires global collaboration and effective measures and policies on international, national and local scales. Young professionals, trained in finding innovative solutions can be of great value to contribute to these worldwide climate challenges. Do you want to be one of them?

The specialisation Climate, Society and Economics teaches students to analyse the social, economic and political dynamics of climate change. Additionally, students get accustomed to different professional settings ranging from consultancy firms and corporations to governmental bodies, NGO's and civil society organisations. In this broad field, our professionals are able to develop effective strategies and find answers to urgent questions like:

  • What is needed to achieve international cooperation between countries with diverging interests and capacities?
  • How can we design policies and carbon markets such that emissions are reduced effectively and at a low cost for society?
  • How do we trade off the costs of climate policy for current generations against its benefits for future generations?

Student can learn more about the education and research related to this specialisation by visiting the website of the Environmental Policy Group and the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group.

Linked to the thesis track Environmental Policy is the master track Sustainable Development Diplomacy. It is a selective track for which you can apply. Read more about this track.


The following subjects are part of the MSc programme Climate Studies when selection the specialisation Climate, Society and Economics. Next to these thesis specific courses, you will follow courses from the common part and electives as summarized in the programme outline. For more information visit the study handbook or contact the study adviser.

Specialisation-related subjects
Subject Code
Climate Governance ENP36306
Select one course or more if your study adviser deems it necessary:
Environmental Policy: Analysis and Evaluation ENP34306
Environmental Economics for Environmental Sciences ENR21306
Interviews and Questionnaires YRM31306
Restricted Optional: select (at least) two*
Governance for Sustainable Cities ENP36806
Water Governance: Concepts and Practices ENP37306
Sustainable Technology in Society ENP36506
Economic Modelling of Sustainability ENR32806
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation AEP32306
Advanced International Environmental Politics and Diplomacy ENP39306
Restricted optional: Select one
MSc Thesis Environmental Policy ENP80436
MSc Thesis Environmental Economics and Natural Resources ENR80436

*To be selected in consultation with your study adviser and in preparation for your thesis subject.

In order to prepare well for your thesis track, you can additionally choose supporting courses. These courses focus, for example on quantitative and data sciences. You can find the exact list in the study handbook at the section "Restricted Optionals (2) in Common part".

This course overview is based on the Wageningen University study handbook, where you can find a more detailed course and programme description. The study handbook is guiding in case of any discrepancy.

Below you can see how your schedule may look like for your whole study programme:

MSc Climate Studies - Climate, Society and Economics.jpg